Monday, November 10, 2008

Portrait Week 2 - Summer Girl

My granddaughter, Jocelyn, is going to be my 2nd week portrait. So had to have this drawn on the wc paper and ready to go for Tuesday morning class. Sandy worked the contrasts on the color photo I sent her so you can see the sunlight better and told me to work with the black and white - not let the color distract me (gee, you think that would happen? ha ha).

I've painted Jocelyn and Alaina and new baby brother, Devlin, once each. This is the second for Jocelyn and if I could get Alaina to sit still for 2 seconds, we could get a good photo of her, too, but she's a ball of furious activity and funny faces, especially when she's outside.

This had to be a photo taken outside with sunlight on the subject so I cropped it down from a photo of all 3 of them. Look at that white-blonde hair! She's a doll-baby, that's for sure.

This should be challenging. But, again, less is more - especially with children (the more you work the face, the older they look). Leaving LOTS of white for this one and painting very pale (like Ted Nuttall) should do the trick - if I can pull that trick off.

We start Tuesday morning in class with this second portrait. I may even finish in class. I just have to:

paint loosely
leave lots of whites
paint slowly
step back, look hard
think where you want the paint
put paint to paper.

Yeah, I KNOW this - but do I DO it??

So what! How many portraits did Andrew Wyeth do before he was good - before he got to the essence of the portrait? Dozens? Hundreds? I bet hundreds. We all have to learn, experiment, fail and react to that failure with the next step = try again until you get success :) (I know, I don't and won't ever paint like Andrew Wyeth but I'm reading a biography of his life and I am learning about how he struggled to get to the point where he was making the art he wanted to make. Maybe all artists go through the struggle. Afterall, who likes a smart-ass who gets it right the first time every time? ha ha)


Watercolors by Susan Roper said...

Why should you be any different than the rest of us who struggle with portraiture? LOL. She's a real beauty to paint, that is for sure. Your drawing looks pretty good to me, just be careful with that mouth, it looks a bit large right now. I think it is Taylor Ikin who suggests drawing it a bit smaller since it seems to grow a bit when painting.

I prefer your new have behavior goals but a more forgiving, lighthearted philosophy about it all. No, I wouldn't like you as much if you were a "smart-ass who gets it right the first time"!

Dawn said...

good luck on your portrait Rhonda, love the photo of your grand daughter.

and your Bella Donna painting turned out great!

Claudia said...

Ah, Rhonda - you mentioned Andrew Wyeth - do you know the book about his "Helga" paintings? I know exactly what you mean...he's soooo good! I look at these paintings again and again; I would like to paint like he does, too...
By the way, many thanks for your encouraging comment on my bird series!
Have a good and creative week!

RHCarpenter said...

Susan, you made me laugh! I wish I could maintain that attitude but it comes and goes.
Thanks so much, Dawn and Claudia. Claudia, I haven't read the Helga book but I might. I could never paint like Wyeth - he took so long and did such painstaking brushstrokes - that would kill me! He is the only painter whose work has ever made me cry when I stood in front of it at a museum - the sheer power of the things are amazing.